News : Every Police Call Centre to be Visited after Couple's Car Death
Glasgow, Scotland, July 22, 2015 -- Every police call centre will be visited after a couple died having been left in a crashed car for three days despite a member of the public reporting the incident.
Lamara Bell, 25, was left critically injured on the M9 near Stirling on Sunday, July 5. She was lying beside her dead boyfriend John Yuill, 28.
A member of the public reported seeing their car off the road that night but the call was not properly followed up by a police officer.
Mother-of-two Ms Bell was eventually found by a farmer unconscious in the Renault Clio car on Wednesday, July 8 alongside her partner, who had three children. She was treated in hospital but died four days later.
Justice secretary Michael Matheson formally directed Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS), which reports to Holyrood, to begin an urgent review into Police Scotland.
On Wednesday, the terms of reference were published by HMICS. The review will include visits to all Police Scotland call centres. It will audit calls on their journey through the centres and will include "engagement with police officers, police staff, unions and staff associations."
HM Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland, Mr Derek Penman, said: "The aim of the review is to provide the Scottish Government and the Scottish Police Authority with an independent assessment of the operation, systems and procedures in place in call centres across Scotland.
"It will provide assurance on whether call handling is working effectively and efficiently within Police Scotland.
"It will examine the capacity and capability of the systems and the staff available in the control centres to manage, answer and prioritise calls. Staff training and the process to ensure that all calls are handled, recorded, dispatched and closed appropriately will also be reviewed.
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"We will review the daily operational business of C3 (Contact, Command and Control) and the wider change programme, including an assessment of the impact of restructuring to date, performance and the delivery of benefits. We will also comment, where appropriate, on the future plans for C3."
An interim report will be handed to Mr Matheson by the end of August, with a full account completed by the end of October.
Mr Penman added: "Information we receive this way will be treated in confidence and only for the purposes of this review. It will be used to identify potential strengths and weaknesses within C3 and inform specific areas for our scrutiny."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Police Scotland:
The Police Service of Scotland is the primary police service of Scotland. It was formed in 2013 with the merger of all eight territorial police forces in Scotland and the specialist services of the Scottish Police Services Authority, including the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency. Although not formally absorbing it, the merger also resulted in the winding down of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland.
Published: Thursday, July 23, 2015
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